What to expect from me in 2021: Part 2

The Nameless Republic, Minecraft and scaling back from social media

I started this year with a letter about what to expect from me in 2021. Here are some updates, some new happenings/projects, and what to look out for before December 31.

1) Warrior of the Wind cover reveal + Nameless news

No, no, Book 2 of The Nameless Republic is not already available. This is just to tell you that Warrior of the Wind is in the works, but the cover reveal is likelier to happen sooner than the book itself. Perhaps even before December. So, watch out for that.

The book itself won’t reach you until summer of 2022 (which I know is not great news for some of y’all, but is wonderful news for me because I’m, well, not a machine). You’re in for a ride with this sequel!

Lastly: Ever heard of the reading clubs at Fable.co? They’re a new app where anyone can set up moderated book clubs (Levar Burton has one going right now). They will be starting fantasy reading club soon, and their first pick is going to be Son of the Storm! There will be a read-along, lots of discussion, and I’ll pop in every now and then to offer more insight into the story. Join now so you don’t miss it!

2) My first middle-grade novel, Minecraft: The Haven Trials, releases December 7

Remember the “untitled video-game tie-in” novel from Del Rey that I couldn’t speak about earlier in the year? Well, the secret is out now: I’ve written a middle-grade novel as part of the Minecraft series. It’s titled Minecraft: The Haven Trials and releases December 7. There’s not a cover or much info available yet, but I can tell you what it’s about: The Haven Trials follows an eleven-year-old girl from Lagos who has to complete a number of trials in Minecraft in order to reconnect—via a new game world—with her best friend who’s suddenly moved abroad. Your tweens are gonna enjoy this one!

You’ll also notice the author title is Suyi Davies and not Suyi Davies Okungbowa as you’re used to seeing. That’s because I’ve decided to separate my works for younger audiences from my work for adult audiences in this way, so that publishers/buyers/readers know what to expect going in. So, going forward, if you see Suyi Davies Okungbowa in a book/story, you know it’s for adult audiences, while Suyi Davies tells you it’s for younger audiences.

3) Stuff in the pipeline

  • Remember the middle-grade anthology, Black Boy Joy, which I spoke about earlier? It’s already getting rave reviews. It hits shelves on August 3rd.

  • My girl-goes-to-magical-school contemporary YA fantasy is now out on submission! (Here’s a reminder of what it’s about). Never know what might come of this, but fingers crossed it gets sold!

  • I’m in conversation with a bunch of folks concerning possible projects I can’t speak about yet, but here are some teasers: an entertainment company that starts with M and ends with vel, a streaming giant that starts with N and ends with flix, and a video game company that starts with U and ends with soft.

4) Scaling back on social media, scaling forward on After Five

In case you missed it, social media has become a cesspit of…everything bad, really. I joined Twitter and Instagram mostly to connect to readers and engage with storytellers and people of interest of all sorts. However, I’ve found that between the scandals and controversies and algorithms, it’s just too much noise for me.

So, I’ve scaled back both my accounts to Updates Only. I don’t have either app on my phone anymore, so I’ll only post when my PC is open, and barely ever respond to direct mentions (outside of a like or repost) or DMs (almost never).

In lieu of social media, I will be connecting more with folks on this newsletter. I’ll begin making weekend open threads, perhaps once or twice a month. Also feel free to comment below with your thoughts. I’ll definitely respond to those. If I have Weighty Thoughts, I might write an essay or a blog post on my website or maybe even do a Twitter thread once in a while.

TL;DR: Less posty-posty on social media, more posty-posty here and on my website.

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5) Other stuff

  • Son of the Storm has sold out its first 11k paperback US printing and gone into second printing, yay! This is excluding the limited edition hardbacks from Goldsboro and FaeCrate (which have also sold out, I believe, at about 2k each). This all excludes the UK/Europe edition, which has also gone into second printing! Thank you all so much for buying, listening, and talking about this book. You’re the real heroes!

  • Endnotes from Oon: I’ll continue sending more Endnotes from Oon, with some changes. The detailed articles will now be blog posts on my website, but I’ll link them back here to you folks.

  • Website crash: Keen readers of this newsletter will notice that: (1) I moved from Substack to a self-hosted newsletter, and then back again; (2) my website crashed and is yet to be fully rebuilt. This upheaval means I’ll probably be staying with Substack for a while (because I’m fatigued from the administrative work of moving stuff). Also, as a result of the above, my last newsletter probably did not hit all inboxes. I’ve kept an archived pdf of it, but the links don’t work. You’ll find all the info you need there, though.

6) Some personal news: Joining the University of Ottawa

This is another piece of news I’ve been holding in for a while, though it’s now slowly trickled into public knowledge. Therefore I think it’s time to officially announce that I’ve joined the Department of English at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing. I’ll be co-heading the nascent Creative Writing minors up there.

I’m currently in the middle of a permanent move from the US to Canada (which is why this newsletter is coming so late!) Expect to see more of me in ear muffs, backgrounded by snowy mountains, green parks and a lot of ice skaters.

Also, if you’re in Ottawa, let me know! It’ll be great to meet new and old friends in a cold (literally!) new city.

Thank you so much for your subscription to After Five. It's what keeps me going. Here's to you enjoying more stories from me.